Raindance Film Festival
Since 1993 the Raindance Film Festival has annually uncovered the hottest new filmmakers to hit the cinematic scene. Some Raindance-premiered hits are Pulp Fiction, Memento, the Blair Witch Project, Ghost World and Love Exposure.
In 1998 Raindance launched the British Independent Film Awards – a yearly industry event attended by the upper ranks of the UK moviemaking establishment. The BIFAs are now regarded as one of the penultimate awards in the world film calendar. Honours have included Ben Kingsley, Harvey Weinstein, Richard Curtis, and helped launch countless films including 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire.
Until 2001 Raindance Film Festival was sometimes referred to as the ‘London’ or ‘pre-MIFED’ Screenings (MIFED collapsed post 9/11), essentially filling the film market position for the UK and which saw approximately 63% of films picked up by UK distributors. A similar London UK Film Focus (LUFF) was set up in 2004 by Film London, followed by the Production Finance Market in 2007.
Similarly “Raindance Kids: London’s Children Film Festival” which had been set up by Raindance and ran successfully for a number of years post 9/11 when sponsorship collapsed, hitting all arts organizations. The model was reproduced two years later by the London Barbican who now run the “London Children’s Film Festival”.
Raindance consulted on the creation of the Berlin Talent Campus and created Raindance East (now the independently run East End Film Festival).
The rest of the year at Raindance is spent training thousands of new and established filmmakers in all aspects of film. Among high profile alumni are Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins), David Yates (Harry Potter), Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn – who actually met at a Raindance course. Raindance training is one of the world’s largest catering for over 3000 students per year.
Raindance set up the Independent Film Trust in 2006, a charity to help support the film festival, the BIFA awards as well as film training for disadvantaged kids. In 2007 Raindance.TV was launched, an online IPTV channel which has supported the online distribution of hundreds of features and shorts, with views topping 1 million in its first 6 months.